The happy Brinson family – Barney, Phyllis, Clarice, Marsha, Faye, Bill and of course little Barrett were traveling the world! Of course, I remember nothing of this except what I was told. Apparently, we were in Maryland for a while. Yawn! Actually, the most interesting story comes from our time in Taiwan. Apparently while we were there, they had a horrible typhoon! Worse than that, there was also an earthquake! Apparently, those happen there all the time because I was told we ran down the stairs scared only to be told “not to worry, don’t worry, happens all the time” by the locals. I don’t know if we were stationed on a military base in Taiwan or private housing. I wish remembered more about that actually, as no one in my family seems to remember anything.
One of the earliest memories I do have is of the house we lived in Augusta Georgia. I remember that it was a weird house built on a hill. You would go in one story and then go downstairs and go out and you’re still on the ground! I was too young to understand the hill concept, but thought it was magic. I remember drinking from a bottle in that house – I remember the basic layout. I also remember being around the table eating and that we had a puppy named Shay-Shay. Another memory to stick out about Augusta then would, after a yearly snowfall that Augusta gets, I was out playing in the snow and every once in a while, I would be bombarded with snowballs from every direction! I remember being terrified and that I couldn’t make it back to the house because snow was in my eyes. Turns out it was just Barney and Phyllis and some of their friends throwing snowballs. I ended up laughing and they came and got me made sure I was all right. At least I think they did. Hmmmm…
My next memory comes after we moved from Augusta to Savannah. We lived in a barrack on Hunter Army Air Force Base. I remember loving this place. It had a smell to it that if I smelled it today would probably make me cry. The doors were big green doors, and I remember just loved seeing that door knowing I was almost home. Inside, I remember walking around in only my grandma’s wig, my grandfather’s boots and a diaper! In fact, a picture exists of that somewhere, that should’ve been everyone’s first clue about my gayness. It was also around this time that Marsha left. She was getting married to a man named Carter Gwynn. She had already put her baby Preston up for adoption even before Clarice was pregnant. I would later live with Marsha and Carter in my senior year of high school but we’ll get to that later.
My grandfather Bill adored me. Every day he would bring candy home for me. They were little wrapped peppermints, green and red ones. Sometimes it would be red hot cinnamon. He had this thing of grabbing my nose and twitching it as a sign of affection in fact he did that up until the last time I saw him. I miss it. He probably would have been thrilled with Clarice and me living with him forever and we did for a while. Then Granddaddy retired and we all moved to Orlando Florida, leaving Savannah behind. But unbeknownst to my grandfather and grandmother, Clarice had met someone in Savannah who would follow her to Orlando to woo and marry her!
George and Clarice had gone out a few times while in savannah. He was the son of a laundromat/drycleaners owner and a stay-at-home mom. He was the second oldest out of four children. At the time, George was more of a hippie – longhair, bellbottoms, paisley shirts, the typical Papa George look. He also had a motorcycle which Clarice found very attractive. She had told him about Barrett and he did not seem to have a problem with it. I sure as hell wish he had given it a second thought! It would have saved us both from a lot of heartache and bullshit!
To Be Continued!
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